march 2020 books

My, how the world has changed since my last book review. I hope you are all reading this from the safety of your own homes. I was on a roll with reading this month, then COVID-19 struck, and my daily life was turned upside-down, so reading time took a backseat temporarily (not to mention, public libraries closed!).

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

I think I read about this book several months on a blog, and I saved it for a time when I wanted/need an easy or “fluffy” read. This book ended up being absolutely perfect for that purpose. Evvie is a newly widowed young woman who unexpectedly finds herself with a former baseball player as a tenant in her spare room. It’s probably pretty obvious how this plays out… the two lonely souls end up keeping each other company, and a bond forms. Much of the story also focuses on family dynamics as well, particularly in the aftermath of an unexpected death. I read this over the course of a weekend and would recommend it as a pleasant way to pass the time during quarantine. It’s not the type of book I’ll likely remember years from now, but it was fun to read.

4/5 stars.

Maid by Stephanie Land

The next book I read was the account of another (however, non-fictional) lonely young woman. Stephanie Land recounts her journey through poverty wherein she finds herself cleaning houses for a living. As you might imagine, this book fits right in with the Nickle and Dimed genre (and in fact. Barbara Ehrenreich wrote the foreword for this book). A life supported by SNAP and government housing grants can be miserable, particularly in light of the fact that Stephanie is also primary caregiver to her toddler daughter. Overall, I found this book enlightening, as it describes a way of life that I have been privileged enough to know nothing about first-hand. Land is a gifted writer, but I think there is some redundancy in this book. Certain occasions (and the homeowners for whom she works) are described extensively more than once, and detailed accounts of her child’s various ear infections take up a considerable chunk of the text. There’s also an odd section in which the author claims how skim milk is “nothing but sugar water,” and WIC should pay for (organic!) whole milk because of its obvious nutritional superiority. Frankly, that’s just not true at all, and I hope other people reading this book don’t accept that at face-value. Nonetheless, this book is a worthwhile read for anyone who has never had to do manual labor for pay, and especially for those who employ a maid to clean their homes. It’s another reminder to be kind, because you never know what kind of struggles the people you meet are facing.

3.5/5 stars.

What did you read in March?

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